Run England Leaders ready for Marathon challenge


Neil Gunn and Hilary Wharam, the lucky winners of our 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon group leaders ballot, have just about completed their preparations and are ready for Sunday’s 26.2 mile challenge!

Hilary, 72, manages an arthritic spine and has run London in the past but is looking forward to doing so again to show that age and disability need not prevent anyone from completing a marathon. Hilary is a group leader at the Run Leeds – Horsforth Harriers Absolute Beginners group. You can find out more about Hilary’s beginners group at

Hilary has employed military precision in her preparation to break six hours, with a variety of sessions including speed work, mile and hill repetitions and runs of up to 24 miles around some of the beautiful parkland in her home city of Leeds. She has gluten free feeds practised and prepared in advance and has been relaxing by playing recorders in the various groups to which she belongs as well as receiving deep tissue massage earlier in the week.

Neil is a group leader at the Macclesfield Run England group (pictured). Neil’s group is linked to Macclesfield Harriers & AC where runners can progress from being beginners to joining one of the other groups at the club. The group has its own blog which you can view at

Neil missed out in 2013 due to injury, but his preparations have gone well this year with almost all his planned sessions completed and he has enjoyed tapering off over the last week.

Good luck to both Hilary and Neil as well as any other Run England group leaders taking part tomorrow!

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